You know the economy is bad when you are fresh out of college and you cannot even get a job as an unpaid intern. If this sounds like your situation, you are not alone. Many of the nation's unemployed workers during the recession snapped up whatever they could find for work, even if it meant an unpaid internship, because they thought it would eventually lead to something else, like something with pay. That meant that everyone graduating from college was scrounging for whatever might be left. If you are still struggling to find a job, here is what you can do in the meantime until an unpaid or paid internship finally opens up.
Search Nonprofit Job Boards
Non-profits do not collect money to pay to employees, although there might be a few charities that hire a couple office staff to man the phones, type and file documents. If you start in an unpaid internship in a non-profit, there is a very good chance you will not get paid for your time.
However, the benefits of this position often make up for that in all of the following ways:
- You get real-life work experience, which is useful if you have none (or next to none).
- You can put this work on your resume, which looks very impressive to bigger, paying employers.
- Non-profit internship experience teaches you about how charities work, which might be very helpful in your next job.
- Working for a non-profit would help you make connections in the business world with companies that donate to the charity you work for.
- Your supervisors at the non-profit can provide valuable work references when you apply to a paid position.
- The hours are usually flexible, which means you can continue your job search for paid employment around the hours you put in for the non-profit.
Check out a company like Foundation List for a nonprofit job board.
Start Your Own Business
Many people coming out of the recession who used up all of their unemployment benefits found that they had two options left--go back to school or start a business. You could do the same, although you probably would prefer the latter and not the former. You could either pursue a graduate degree (if you do not have one already), or you could begin advertising your unique set of skills and services to the public. Freelancers and contractors of all kinds find that they either like what they do once they start, or that being in business for oneself is a nice, temporary solution to a current need for employment.